Standing on the Side of Love in North East India
Standing on the Side of Love in North East India
The Reverend Helpme H. Mohrmen, General Secretary of the Unitarian Union of North East India, had a Special Article published on the Editorial Page of The Shillong Times on August 17, 2009. This article follows last month's decision by the High Court in Delhi which was argued by UU Holdeen India Partner, Anand Grover, of the Lawyer’s Collective.

Standing on the side of love

By H.H.Mohrmen

Love is a magic word and love is the lesson that every religion teaches its followers, yet, love is also a much abused word. In the name of love not only beautiful monuments are erected, but in its name many wars are also fought.

Love makes the world go round, love keeps the family hearth burning, love keeps the family in thatch-roof huts intact in spite of all odds. But sometimes people tend to play down the effect of love by creating artificial barriers or by putting up a wall in between. When asked which among the commandments are important, Jesus answered, The Lord your God is one and love your neighbors as you love yourself and when he was asked who my neighbour is, and he told them a story. In the famed parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus teaches his followers about love beyond caste, love beyond race, it is not the (supposed pious) Rabbi who came to the rescue of a man who fell in the hand of the robbers. Neither did his fellow tribesmen come to help him, but it was the Samaritan the one considered to be of low caste who came to his rescue. That is love beyond artificial barriers, love beyond borders. That is real love.

When asked which among the commandments are important, Jesus answered, The Lord your God is one and love your neighbors as you love yourself and when he was asked who my neighbour is, and he told them a story. In the famed parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus teaches his followers about love beyond caste, love beyond race, it is not the (supposed pious) Rabbi who came to the rescue of a man who fell in the hand of the robbers. Neither did his fellow tribesmen come to help him, but it was the Samaritan the one considered to be of low caste who came to his rescue.

There is another parable of an unconditional love which Jesus taught his followers and that is the parable of prodigal son. In spite of his younger son’s wayward life, his father loved him the same. A father’s love is unconditional because love is spontaneous. Throughout his ministry Jesus preached nothing else but love and real love, but we began drawing lines between the saved and those ‘not saved’, ‘them and us,’ ‘they and we,’ those who will go to heaven and those condemned to hell, in spite of the story of the harlot whom he saved by asking those who think that they have no sin to throw the first stone. Love also means not being judgmental, for we all have our own deficiencies and we are all imperfect creatures.

In one of the discussions I had on the Gay, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) issue, a friend of mine who is also a science lecturer in one of the reputed college in Shillong, when asked about his opinion said, "I seek wisdom from science and question if this is mere human erotic desire or is it something else?". He then said, "Science confirms that this is all natural. And if we use religious language we would say that they are also equal creations of God." Now what crime have the GLBT people committed? Or is it a sin to be who you are as God has created you? If the GLBT people have done anything else, it is out of love and since when did love become a crime? We have not even tried to stop animals from loving each other, why do we want to stop people from loving one another?

A father’s love is unconditional because love is spontaneous. Throughout his ministry Jesus preached nothing else but love and real love, but we began drawing lines between the saved and those ‘not saved’, ‘them and us,’ ‘they and we,’ those who will go to heaven and those condemned to hell, in spite of the story of the harlot whom he saved by asking those who think that they have no sin to throw the first stone. Love also means not being judgmental, for we all have our own deficiencies and we are all imperfect creatures.

We have GLBT person(s) in our community; some are obvious and some are not; this is something that we cannot deny. So what right have we to deny them the right to love? Just because we do not have GLBT people in our family that does not mean that there are no GLBT people around. And how sure are we that we do not have members in the family with different sexual orientations? GLBT people do exist and they not only seek our sympathy but more importantly they seek justice and respect for their fundamental rights. That is what they ask from the community; nothing more nothing less.

So, with regard to the issue of GLBT when people ask me which side I am on in the current debate, my answer is, "I’m on the side of love. I am standing on the side of love, -love without borders, love without barriers, love without conditions, non-judgmental love, all encompassing love and everlasting love. I am on the side of love." Let us therefore pull down all the artificial walls that we have raised to divide us, let us embrace divine love for divine love knows no distinction.

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